Whirlpool Case Study

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  • Topic: Major appliance, Whirlpool Corporation, Electrolux
  • Pages : 6 (2148 words )
  • Download(s) : 1021
  • Published : December 6, 2012
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Research Helps Whirlpool Keep Cool At Home|
Act Local In Emerging Markets|


Table of Contents

Global Marketing Strategy3
Why People Buy Appliances4
The Role of Market Research5
Key Lessons Learned6

Whirlpool Corporation got its start back in November 1911 with founders Louis and Emory Upton. It was originally called the Upton Machine Company before going through a couple of name changes. The first was the change to Nineteen Hundred Corporation after Upton merged with Nineteen Hundred Washer Company in 1929. It then changed to Whirlpool Corporation in 1950 and it has remained the same ever since. In 2011, 100 years after gettings its start, the company was the “is the world's leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances, with annual sales of more than $19 billion” according to its website. It also states that the company has “68,000 employees, and 66 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world”. This is very important as Whirlpool continues to look for opportunities in the global marketplace. Whirlpool made their first move into the global marketplace in 1958 when they entered into a partnership with Brazil’s Brasmotor S.A. which was the parent company of appliance maker Multibras S.A. Eletrodomesticos. It took some time but in 1990, they continued their global expansion by moving into parts of Europe, Latin America, Asia and parts of Africa. Whirlpool markets many different brand names across nearly every country in the world. Some of the more recognizable names in the United States include Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air and Amana. Brastemp and Consul are big brand names in Brazil while Bauknecht is a regional brand in Europe. Global Marketing Strategy

Whirlpool started their global journey by acquiring an existing company in Europe and working their way into people’s homes through brand awareness. They continued to make their international product by utilizing the extensive product strategy, where they offer their product virtually unchanged, in the global market. Whirlpool used a strategy that worked well in the United States and tried to make it work in the emerging markets. In the early 90’s Whirlpool’s then Chairman David Whitwam stated that in the latter part of the 90’s the majority of Whirlpool’s revenues would come from overseas. Whirlpool learned that extending a product that worked well in the U.S. does not mean it will carry the company on the global front. Europe was heavily saturated with appliance brands. In order to be successful, with both sales and revenue, Whirlpool was going to have to trim their price. Whirlpool recognized in order to make the most competitive product they needed to listen to consumers and focus on market research. A key factor in their marketing strategy was the purchase of two local appliance brands, Brastemp and Consul, in Brazil. This was a smart move for whirlpool because they identified that even their lower end products were too pricey to fit the incomes of emerging markets. By purchasing a company with lower end, economic products, they could keep the quality associated with the Whirlpool brand and market the lower end products under the Consul name. Whirlpool was able to cut costs and streamline their products by having what they call platforms. The platform is the very basic core of an appliance that is used in the US, Brazil, India, China, and any other country they decide to infiltrate. From the platform the rest of the appliance is built, and can be country or region specific. Thus, Whirlpool converted to the adaptation strategy which involves changing elements of the design, function or packaging, in response to needs or conditions in the particular market they are looking to excel in. By migrating to the adaptation strategy, the company was able to reduce the number of platforms from 135 to 65 and thus create a product that is...